A Boeing 737 was surrounded recently by multiple fire apparatus, ambulances and squad cars for a Mass Casualty Incident Drill conducted at Addison Airport.
Addison Airport is one of the country’s most successful business airports with approximately 700 planes based on site and 95,000 landings and take offs per year. One of Addison’s two fire stations, including a specialized Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) unit, is located next to the airport.
The drill simulates an aircraft that declares an emergency after there is a fire in the galley. The Brookhaven College of Emergency Medical Services provides student volunteers to play the role of injured passengers. Firefighters and equipment from Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Cedar Hill are also on the scene to provide assistance along with the Addison Police Department.
“Our objective is to provide the same standard of safety and response as airports such as Love Field,” said Battalion Chief Will Hamilton who commanded the exercise. “Our ARFF is the same type of vehicle found at larger airports and can deploy water, foam and dry chemicals within 90 seconds.”
“Aviation is a tight knit community where safety is a high priority,” said Addison Airport Director Joel Jenkinson. “So many of our airport tenants assisted with the drill by providing the aircraft and apron space, as well as participating in the evaluation process.”
“This drill provides the opportunity for our people to work in a realistic aviation environment,” said Battalion Chief Hamilton. “When you are dealing with aircraft fires every second counts and the more practice we can get in a realistic situation the better we are able to respond in the more chaotic atmosphere you would have in an actual fire.”
The drill was evaluated in real time by emergency management and risk specialists from Plano and some of the airport’s corporate tenants.
“We all hope we never have to do this for real,” said Battalion Chief Hamilton. “But we know we can if we need to.”